Last night I tossed and turned and couldn’t fall asleep for the life of me. I’d tried reading Anna Karenina to help me doze off, but instead my fuzzy brain filled up with Russian surnames and then suddenly, a slew of queer parenting questions and concerns. Now, we don’t even know if we’re preggo this time around. But as the non-bio mom, I suppose, I tend to obsess more over the post-pregnancy life. Or maybe it’s just my personality and the fact that I grew up in a family where we talked about everything, out loud, all the time: process, process, debate, analyze. I’ve been working on mindfulness, being in the present, and stopping my worry train before it starts. But sometimes it gets away from me, like last night. I think a lot about how we’ll navigate the world as a two-mom family. This started before we were on our TTC path, when my mother said, “You’ll be great mothers, but I think it’ll be hard for you to raise sons.” Oh yeah? I wanted to say. But my defensiveness died in my throat as I thought, what if she’s right? I had a terrible relationship (and a thankfully brief one) with my bio dad, but as an adolescent I still felt the sting of not having a father. So I worry: will our child grieve the lack of a father? Then I think, what’s a father, anyway? Maybe they won’t have a dad but they’ll have two moms and some cool uncles, to boot. I’m pretty good at calming my own fears, when all’s said and done. Still, the questions persist. Questions I refuse to say out loud to my mother or our straight friends because, well, they just don’t get it. What if Uno bonds more with our child than I do? Will our respective extended families feel equally connected to our child and respect us equally as mothers? How do we talk to said families about donor and conception info? How will we negotiate our relationships with our very much alive, important to us, but conservative grandmothers? What will we say to curious strangers? There are more, besides. Certain issues (extended family, for instance) worry me more than others (what our child will call us).
Thankfully, we’ve got blogs. Two-mom blogs, TTC, and queer parenting blogs fill a void in existing literature / wisdom about conception and pregnancy and parenting. I love them. Some I’ve been reading lately – along with the TTC blogs – are Name That Mama, Totally Smitten Mama, LesbianDad, and First Time Second Time. I was just reading through some of First Time, Second Time’s posts about being a non-bio mom. So. helpful. Helpful isn’t even the right adjective. Reassuring isn’t either, though it’s that too. It just helps to know we’re not alone in this endeavor. Of course I know that, rationally. But we don’t have many queer friends in our immediate vicinity (okay, make that close to zero), not to mention lesbian moms.
I feel better writing about this. As per usual for me, putting thoughts into words helps put them in context and make them feel manageable. These questions don’t take away from my blinding, overwhelming, unbridled joy about the idea of parenting with my beloved Uno, nor does it take away from my devoted hope that we’re pregnant this time (please, oh please). It just – is. My worry exists. But I am not my worry. How’s that for some Zen? I have to trust that we will find our way.
Finally, and I’ll have to mull over this one some more, I don’t want to forget to be grateful. I’m lucky to be one half of a fab kick-ass-and-take-names duo. I’m lucky to experience this non-bio mom road, lucky that we don’t have to resort to traditional gender roles in our relationship or in parenting…and lucky to be able to hold my Uno’s hand at our IUI appt, smile right at the Texan nurse with the perm, and have her smile back at me. We’re showing her what a family looks like.